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Pathophysiology of gastrointestinal hormones

Implications for paediatrics


Gastrointestinal hormones (GI hormones) have received growing interest in endocrinology, gastroenterology and neuroendocrinology. Because of new methodological techniques, they can be measured in plasma and therefore be related to different pathophysiological conditions. In childhood, our present knowledge is as yet limited to the physiological rôle of gastrin at different ages and in some diseases (gastrinoma; Verner-Morrison syndrome) caused by humoral dysfunction. The present review relates the clinical important GI hormones to chemically classified families. The diagnostic value of determining endogenous hormone concentration in plasma and the validity of function tests carried out by administration of exogenous hormones are pointed out. Particular emphasis is given to the trophic action of GI hormones in the development and function of the gastrointestinal tract during childhood. More speculatively, GI hormones are involved in the complex function of the central nervous system, thus making food intake a trophotrophic action in a broader sense.

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Curriculum vitae. Ivo Henrichs was born 1946 in Kleve/Lower Rhine (FRG). After studying in Münster and by a stipend in Zurich, he graduated 1971 from Medical School of Münster and took his degree 1972 from the Medical Faculty of Zurich. He obtained his clinical training in the Center of Paediatrics, University of Ulm, with emphasis on pediatric endocrinology. His interest of research is the rôle of gastrointestinal hormones in childhood. Since 1979, after he was trained in the laboratory of Prof. K. D. Buchanan (Belfast), he is the recipient of a stipend from the German Research Council.

Supported by a stipend from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, He 1107/1

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Henrichs, I., Teller, W.M. Pathophysiology of gastrointestinal hormones. Eur J Pediatr 135, 3–11 (1980).

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Key words

  • Gastrointestinal hormones
  • Placenta
  • Gestational age
  • Gastrins
  • Cholecystokinin
  • Caerulein
  • Secretin
  • Gastric inhibitory polypeptide
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide
  • Enteroglucagon
  • Somatotropin release inhibiting hormone
  • Motilin
  • Pancreatic polypeptide
  • Neurotensin
  • Substance P
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Intestinal mucosa
  • Infant feeding
  • Central nervous system